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so I’m strolling through the Place Vendôme, as one does of a summer day in Paris. Everything is beautiful in that strange diffused light of the city, as though you’re permanently a little tipsy on Champagne and the city has taken on an Instagram hue somewhere between X Pro II and Sierra.
‘Oh, hello,’ I say to the incredibly familiar woman walking with her cute toddler and her suddenly bristling bodyguard. And immediately I realise: ‘Oh, of course, this is not someone I know from home but rather the terribly charming but now weirded-out Alicia Keys.’
Mortification of the ‘celebrity spotting in Paris’ variety ensues. I’m like: ‘No, I am not some peculiar stalker – I interviewed you yesterday.’ And she is reassuring the bodyguard with a ‘Yes, of course – South Africa.’ We smile mutual pained smiles and move on. Phew! Awkwardness averted at the pass.
Our visits to Paris have coincided for the launch of Dahlia Divin – the Givenchy fragrance to which she has lent her face and fame. It strikes me that the reason she seemed so familiar, strolling in the Place Vendôme, apart from the obvious fact of her Alicia Keys-ness, is that she is a genuinely delightful person, a fact that became apparent in the interview. Here is a lovely, vibrant and complete woman who appears remarkably untouched by the burdens of fame and untrammelled by a huge ego. In short, even during the course of a day in which she probably answered the same questions a hundred times, she was possessed of extreme warmth and unaffected charm.I am now her biggest fan. Just don’t tell her bodyguard.
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